Quarterly Review: High on Fire, Spaceslug, Lie Heavy, Burning Realm, Kalac, Alkuräjähdys, Magick Brother & Mystic Sister, Amigo, The Hazytones, All Are to Return

Posted in Reviews on May 14th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

The-Obelisk-Quarterly-Review

Alright, back at it. Putting together yesterday over the weekend was more scattershot than I’d prefer, but one might say the same of parenting in general, so I’ll leave it at that. Still, as happens with Quarterly Reviews, we got there. That my wife gave me an extra 40 minutes to bang out the Wizzerd video premiere was appreciated. As always, she makes everything possible.

Compared to some QRs, there are a few ‘bigger’ releases here. You’ll note High on Fire leading off today. That trend will continue over this and next week with the likes of Pallbearer, Uncle Acid, Bongripper, Harvestman (Steve Von Till, ex-Neurosis), Inter Arma, Saturnalia Temple spread throughout. The Pelican two-songer and My Dying Bride back to back a week from today. That’ll be a fun one. As always, it’s about the time crunch for me for what goes in the Quarterly Review. Things I want to cover before it’s too late that I can fit here. Ain’t nobody holding their breath for my opinion on any of it, or on anything generally for that matter, but I’m not trying to slight well known bands by stuffing them into what when it started over a decade ago I thought would be a catchall for demos and EPs. Sometimes I like the challenge of a shorter word count, too.

And I remind myself here again nobody really cares. Fine, let’s go.

Quarterly Review #11-20:

High on Fire, Cometh the Storm

high on fire cometh the storm

What seems at first to be business as usual for High on Fire‘s fourth album produced by Kurt Ballou, fifth for MNRK Heavy (formerly E1), and ninth overall, gradually reveals itself to be the band’s tonally heaviest work in at least the last 15 years. What’s actually new is drummer Coady Willis (Big Business, Melvins) making his first studio appearance alongside founding guitarist/vocalist Matt Pike (Sleep, Pike vs. the Automaton) and long-tenured bassist/backing vocalist Jeff Matz (also saz on the instrumental interlude-plus “Karanlik Yol”), and for sure Willis‘ thud in “Trismegistus,” galloping intensity in the thrashy and angular “The Beating” and declarative stomp beneath the big slowdown of 10-minute closer “Darker Fleece” is part of it, but from the way Pike and Matz bring “Cometh the Storm’ and “Sol’s Golden Curse” in the record’s middle to such cacophonous ends, the three-and-a-half-minute face-kick that is “Lightning Beard” and the suckerpunch that starts off with “Lambsbread,” to how even the more vocally melodic “Hunting Shadows” is carried on a wave of filthy, hard-landing distortion, their ferocity is reaffirmed in thicker grooves and unmitigated pummel. While in some ways this is what one would expect, it’s also everything for which one might hope from High on Fire a quarter-century on from their first demo. Triumph.

High on Fire on Facebook

MNRK Heavy website

Spaceslug, Out of Water

spaceslug out of water

A release concurrent to a remastered edition of their 2016 debut, Lemanis (review here), only puts into emphasis how much Spaceslug have come into their own over eight productive years. Recorded by drummer/vocalist Kamil Ziółkowski (also Mountain of Misery), with guitarist/vocalist Bartosz Janik and bassist/vocalist Jan Rutka dug into familiar tonal textures throughout five tracks and a quick but inevitably full-length-flowing 32 minutes, Out of Water is both otherworldly and emotionally evocative in the rollout of “Arise the Sun” following the intertwined shouts of opener “Tears of Antimatter,” and in keeping with their progression, they nudge toward metallic aggression as a way to solidify their heavy psychedelic aspects. “Out of Water” is duly mournful to encapsulate such a tragic notion, and the nod of “Delusions” only grows more forcefully applied after the return from that song’s atmospheric break, and while they depart with “In Serenity” to what feels like the escapism of sunnier riffing, even that becomes more urgent toward the album’s finish. The reason it works is they’re bending genre to their songs, not the other way around, and as Spaceslug mature as a group, they’ve become one of Poland’s most essential heavy acts.

Spaceslug on Facebook

Spaceslug on Bandcamp

Lie Heavy, Burn to the Moon

lie heavy burn to the moon

First issued on CD through JM Records in 2023, Lie Heavy‘s debut album, Burn to the Moon, sees broader release through Heavy Psych Sounds with revamped art to complement the Raleigh, North Carolina, four-piece’s tonal heft and classic reach in pieces like “In the Shadow” and “The Long March,” respectively. The band is fronted by Karl Agell (vocalist for C.O.C.‘s 1991 Blind album and now also in The Skull-offshoot Legions of Doom), and across the 12-song/51-minute run, and whether it’s the crunch of the ripper “When the Universe Cries” or the Clutch-style heavy funk of “Chunkadelic” pushing further from the start-stops of “In the Shadow” or the layered crescendo of “Unbeliever” a short time later, he and bassist/vocalist TR Gwynne, guitarist/vocalist Graham Fry and drummer/vocalist Jeff “JD” Dennis deliver sans-pretense riff-led fare. They’re not trying to fix what wasn’t broken in the ’90s, to be sure, but you can’t really call it a retread either as they swing through “Drag the World” and its capstone counterpart “End the World”; it all goes back to Black Sabbath anyway. The converted will get it no problem.

Lie Heavy on Facebook

Heavy Psych Sounds website

Burning Realm, Face the Fire

Burning Realm Face the Fire

Dublin, Ireland, trio Burning Realm mark their first release with the four-song Face the Fire EP, taking the cosmic-tinged restlessness of Wild Rocket and setting it alongside more grounded riffing, hinting at thrash in the ping ride on “From Beyond” but careening in the modern mode either way. Lead cut “Homosapien” gives Hawkwindian vibes early — the trap, which is sounding like Slift, is largely avoided, though King Gizzard may still be relevant as an influence — but smoothly gives over to acoustics and vocal drone once its urgency has bene vaporized, and spacious as the vocal echo is, “Face the Fire” is classic stoner roll even into its speedier ending, the momentum of which is continued in closer “Warped One (Arise),” which is more charged on the whole in a way that feels linear and intended in relation to what’s put before it. A 16-minute self-released introduction to who Burning Realm are now, it holds promise for how they might develop stylistically and grow in terms of range. Whatever comes or doesn’t, it’s easy enough to dig as it is. If you were at a show and someone handed you the tape, you’d be stoked once you put it on in the car. Also it’s like 1995 in that scenario, apparently.

Burning Realm on Facebook

Burning Realm on Bandcamp

Kalac, Odyss​é​e

Odyssee

Offered through an international consortium of record labels that includes Crême Brûlée Records in the band’s native France, Echodelick in the US, Clostridium in Germany and Weird Beard in the UK, French heavy psych thrusters Kalac‘s inaugural full-length, Odyss​é​e — also stylized all-caps — doesn’t leave much to wonder why so many imprints might want some for the distro. With a focus on rhythmic movement in the we-gotta-get-to-space-like-five-minutes-ago modus of current-day heavy neo-space-rock, the mostly instrumental procession hypnotizes even as it peppers its expanses with verses here or there. That might be most effectively wrought in the payoff noiseblaster wash of “II,” which I’m just going to assume opens side B, but the boogie quotient is strong from “Arguenon” to “Beautiful Night,” and while might ring familiar to others operating in the aesthetic galaxial quadrant, the energy of Kalac‘s delivery and the not-haphazard-but-not-always-in-the-same-spot-either placement of the vocals are enough to distinguish them and make the six-tracker as exciting to hear as it sounds like it probably was to record.

Kalac on Facebook

Crême Brûlée Records on Bandcamp

Clostridium Records store

Weird Beard Records store

Echodelick Records on Bandcamp

Alkuräjähdys, Ehdot.

Alkurajahdys ehdot

The live-tracked fourth outing from Helsinki psych improvisationalists Alkuräjähdys, the lowercase-stylized ehdot. blends mechanical and electronic sounds with more organic psychedelic jamming, the synth and bassier punchthrough in the midsection of opening piece “.matriisi” indeed evocative of the dot-matrix printer to which its title is in reference, while “központ,” which follows, meanders into a broader swath of guitar-based noise atop a languidly graceful roll of drums. That let’s-try-it-slower ideology is manifest in the first half of the duly two-sided “a-b” as well, as the 12-minute finale begins by lurching through the denser distortion of a central riff en route to a skronk-jazz transition to a tighter midtempo groove that I’ll compare to Endless Boogie and very much intend that as a compliment. I don’t think they’re out to change the world so much as get in a room, hit it and see where the whole thing ends up, but those are noble creative aims in concept and practice, and between the two guitars, effects, synth and whathaveyou, there’s plenty of weird to go around.

Alkuräjähdys on Instagram

Alkuräjähdys on Bandcamp

Magick Brother & Mystic Sister, Tarot Pt. 1

Magick Brother & Mystic Sister tarot pt. 1

Already a significant undertaking as a 95-minute 2LP running 11 tracks themed — as the title(s) would hint — around tarot cards, the mostly serene sprawl of Magick Brother & Mystic Sister‘s Tarot Pt. 1 is still just the first of two companion albums to be issued as the follow-up to the Barcelona outfit’s 2020 self-titled debut (discussed here). Offered through respected Greek purveyor Sound Effect Records, Tarot Pt. 1 gives breadth beyond just the runtime in the sitar-laced psych-funk of “The Hierophant” (swap sitar for organ, synth and flute on “The Chariot”) and the classic-prog pastoralia of closer “The Wheel of Fortune,” and as with the plague-era debut, at the heart of the material is a soothing acid folk, and while the keys in the first half of “The Emperor” grow insistent and there’s some foreboding in the early Mellotron and key lines of “The Lovers,” Tarot Pt. 1 resonates comfort and care in its arrangements as well as ambition in its scope. Maybe another hour and a half on the way? Sign me up.

Magick Brother & Mystic Sister on Facebook

Sound Effect Records store

Amigo, Good Time Island

Amigo Good Time Island

The eight-year distance from their 2016 debut long-player, Little Cliffs, seems to have smoothed out some (not all, which isn’t a complaint) of the rough edges in Amigo‘s sound, as the seemingly reinvigorated San Diego four-piece of lead guitarist/vocalist Jeff Podeszwik (King Chiefs), guitarist Anthony Mattos, bassist Sufi Karalen and drummer Anthony Alley offer five song across an accessible, straightforward 17 minutes united beneath the fair-enough title of Good Time Island. Without losing the weight of their tones, a Weezery pop sensibility comes through in “Dope Den” while “Frog Face” is even more specifically indebted to The Cars. Neither “Telescope Boy” nor “Banana Phone” lacks punch, but Amigo hold some in reserve for “Me and Soof,” which rounds out the proceedings, and they put it to solid use for an approach that’s ’90s-informed without that necessarily meaning stoner, grunge or alt, and envision a commercially relevant, songwriting-based heavy rock and roll for an alternate universe that, by all accounts here, sounds like a decent place to be.

Amigo on Facebook

Roosevelt Row Records store

The Hazytones, Wild Fever

The Hazytones Wild Fever

Culminating in the Sabbathian shuffle of “Eye for an Eye,” Wild Fever is the hook-drenched third full-length from Montreal fuzzbringers The Hazytones, and while they’ve still got the ‘tones’ part down pat, it’s easy to argue the eight included tracks are the least ‘hazy’ they’ve been to-date. Following on from the direction of 2018’s II: Monarchs of Oblivion (review here), the Esben Willems-mixed/Kent Stump-mastered 40-minute long-player isn’t shy about leaning into the grittier side of what they do as the opening title-track rolls out a chorus that reminds of C.O.C. circa In the Arms of God while retaining some of the melody between the vocals of Mick Martel (also guitar and keys) and Gabriel Prieur (also drums and bass), and with the correspondingly thick bass of Caleb Sanders for accompaniment and lead guitarist John Choffel‘s solo rising out of the murk on “Disease,” honing in on the brashness suits them well. Not where one might have expected them to end up six years later, but no less enjoyable for that, either.

The Hazytones on Facebook

Black Throne Productions store

All Are to Return, III

All Are To Return III

God damn that’s harsh. Mostly anonymous industrialists — you get F and N for names and that’s it — All Are to Return are all the more punishing in the horrific recesses and engulfing blasts of static that populate III than they were in 2022’s II (review here), and the fact that the eight-songer is only 32 minutes long is about as close as they come to any concept of mercy for the psyche of their audience. Beyond that, “Moratorium,” “Colony Collapse,” the eats-you-dead “Archive of the Sky” and even the droning “Legacy” cast a willfully wretched extremity, and what might be a humanizing presence of vocals elsewhere is screams channeled through so much distortion as to be barely recognizable as coming from a human throat here. If the question being posed is, “how much can you take?,” the answer for most of those brave enough to even give III a shot will be, “markedly less than this.” A cry from the depths realizing a brutal vision.

All Are to Return on Bandcamp

Tartarus Records store

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Glory or Death Records Announces ‘Friends and Family’ Showcases for June 7-8

Posted in Whathaveyou on May 10th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Glory or Death Records has announced a pair of label showcases for next month. Set to take place over two nights — June 7 in Tempe, Arizona, and June 8 in El Cajon, California (in San Diego County) — and true to the ‘Friends and Family’ tag applied to the duly wizardly posters below, the lineups feature Glory or Death denizens like Great Electric QuestFormula 400Hudu AkilPhantom HoundTzimani and a solo performance from guitarist Kelley Juett of Mothership, who recently signed to the Cali-based imprint to release his first solo album, Wandering West.

Juett is billed as doing “loops,” which is fair enough if you take a listen to the initial single “Mind Mirage” from his upcoming LP (at the bottom of the post, as it happens), and seems to be in the opening spot for both nights, though that kind of thing can also be cool during changeovers between more-than-one-person-involved bands sometimes, so you never know. In addition, Phoenix psychedelic instrumental outfit Secrets of Lost Empires — whose Joshua Mathus has done comic-style graphic work for Zac Crye of Hudu AkilDesert RecordsStone Machine Electric and scores of others — will appear at the Temple show only.

The posters (by MontDoom), info, ticket links and such came down the PR wire:

Glory or Death Records Friends and Family Showcase Back-to-Back shows in Tempe and San Diego

Glory or Death Records Friends & Family Showcase

Tempe Date: June 7 at Yucca Tap Room

Featuring live solo loop performance by Kelley Juett; Secrets of Lost Empires, Tzimani, Phantom Hound, Hudu Akil, Formula 400, and Great Electric Quest

7:30 pm // 21 + // $12 adv $15 door

Event Link: https://facebook.com/events/s/glory-or-death-records-showcas/3750053211915097/

Ticket Link: https://www.ticketweb.com/event/the-great-electric-quest-formula-yucca-tap-room-tickets/13478144

San Diego Date: June 8 at Burning Beard Brewery

We will even be giving out free DIY Lightsabers! First come first serve. Kids first. We’ll start handing them out when the sun sets! Come hang!

June 8th 4-9pm All Ages!

Great Electric Quest (Oside)
Formula 400 (Vista)
Phantom Hound (Oakland)
Hudu Akil (PHX)
Tzimani (SD)
Kelley Juett (PHX)

Ticket Link: https://www.burningbeardbrewing.com/product/glory-or-death-records-friends-family-music-showcase/489

Flyer art by @montdoom

https://www.facebook.com/Gloryordeathrecords/
https://gloryordeathrecords.bandcamp.com/
https://www.gloryordeathrecords.com/shop/

Kelley Juett, “Mind Mirage”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Album Review: Zack Oakley, Kommune I

Posted in Reviews on March 8th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Zack Oakley Kommune 1

The first thing to know about Kommune I is that, contrary to what one might think from its title, it isn’t Zack Oakley‘s debut LP. The guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and emergent bandleader based in San Diego and known for his work in acts like JoyVolcano and Pharlee (in which he drums) launched his Kommune Records DIY imprint with 2022’s Badlands (review here), a dizzying and progressive interpretation of classic heavy rock that continues exploring around its central boogie-prone ideology on the five songs of Kommune I, sacrificing untold strings to the gods of wah and whammy. This is done in the name of a worldly, funky, mindfully casual approach spearheaded by Oakley, who recorded the 43-minute offering along with tracking engineer Cory Martinez (who also adds guitar, synth and vocals) and a cast of players returning and new.

Which brings us to the second thing to know about Kommune I, which is that it’s Oakley‘s name out front, but ‘Zack Oakley‘ on the album cover delivers the material as a full band. In addition to Oakley and MartinezKommune I sees a return appearance from Jody Bagly (Loosen the Noose) on Rhodes piano and B3 organ, both of which become vital elements in the malleable character of the material. Also back from Badlands is Travis Baucum (Red Wizard), whose harmonica appears as an offset for lead guitar from the outset in “We Want You to Dance” and side A capper “Look Where We Are Now” as well as album-closer “Demon Run.” He also adds vocals, and a bit of theremin somewhere on the record, perhaps in the 16-minute side-B leadoff jammer “Hypnagogic Shift,” where there’s a spot for everybody and listener besides. The lineup is completed by drummer/vocalist Justin De La Vega (Warish), whose snare work doesn’t so much ground the proceedings as give shape to the motion of the whole, keyboardist/synthesist/vocalist Garret Lekas, bassist/vocalist Peter Cai, and flutist Tom Lowman, who harnesses an unironic optimistic future in “Further,” giving flourish to the verse lines in answer to the sharp strums of guitar.

And with those two items in mind, we get to the crux of Kommune I, which is in the scope and nuances of its songs. Side A, with “We Want You to Dance,” “Further” and “Look Where We Are Now,” can be seen loosely as something of a thematic narrative of realization, but with schooled-in-it purpose, Oakley touches on a range of aspects of funk and soul, even bringing some of the Afrobeat impulse that defined Volcano into “We Want You to Dance” in such a way as to lend a decolonize-your-brain bent to the act of dancing itself, while its atmospheric midsection break touches on vibes from The Supremes (thinking “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” specifically), lets the harmonica howl instead of the guitar and takes its time to jam fluidly back into its verse on the other end, because that’s what serves the song. They want you to dance. They say it. It’s the core message. “Dance’ll kill your ego.” The song’s lyrics and bouncy start-stop groove become a pushback on cruel modernity, a voice from outside, but there’s more happening in it than complaining about social media. They want you to dance.

No less catchy, but each with its own aims in expression and style, “Further” and “Look Where We Are Now” nonetheless back the opener in its physical urgency. “Further” builds up around nighttime bug sounds, ambient guitar noodling that shortly becomes wah, and duly sauntering toms. The guitar builds to a strum as it and the flute mark out the chorus instrumentally ahead of the verse — an aspect of ’60s pop that’s demonstrative of Kommune I‘s multifaceted take on classic ideas; it’s not just a retro veneer, and it’s not limited to heavy rock — so you already know its shove when it hits. Also somehow it’s space rock. The vocals are layered and emphatic, drawing on the harmonized gang-vocal methods of early psych-funk and bringing them into Oakley‘s songwriting in a way that helps bridge the jumps surrounding from one part, one song, and to a degree, one aesthetic to the next, staving off a disjointed feel through consistent tonality, a mix made for dynamic rather than volume, and, in perhaps a more primeval way, that gang of voices. If everybody’s making the leap from Afrobeat heavy soul rock to proggy turns and a condensed jammy sprawl — and they are — it’s that much easier for the listener to be carried by the momentum of the going.

Zach Oakley Band

As “Look Where We Are Now” underscores some of these notions — the wah of the ’70s soul intro like Isaac Hayes doing “Shaft,” howls making it a party behind the funky first movement, an array of voices, the stellar and foundational performance of De La Vega, and so on — it distinguishes itself as well in how its chorus comes forward, and as both of the first two tracks did, speaks directly to the audience while changing the frame in which that happens. The swap from ‘you’ in “We Want You to Dance” and ‘we’ in “Look Where We Are Now” is notable, as though, having gone “Further,” there has been some transformation of consciousness or state. Its call-and-response chorus feels mid-’60s or maybe even later British Invasion, but “Look Where We Are Now” also gives itself over to harmonica an earned for-a-walk instrumental break with the guitar solo at its halfway mark, at least one rhythm and lead layer working together, if not more, then goes back to the hook, which is quadruple-repeated as they roll out a last wash of swirl and snare. The proverbial tight band sounding loose, bolstered by production that puts you in the room as it’s happening.

Side B presents something of a different face in the aforementioned “Hypnagogic Shift” and “Demon Run,” inevitably defined in large part by the jammy gamut (jamut?) of the former, and brought more in line with Kommune I‘s first three tracks by the hook of the latter, which also accounts in its whole-LP summary for the breadth of “Hypnagogic Shift,” which arrives ready to take its time at the outset and fleshes out to an especially rich portrayal of this band at work. Rhodes and Hammond both seem to be accounted for in its reaches, and there’s an initial structure being worked and weaved around, and while as a result of that there’s clearly a plotted course in among all the part-changes and redirects, having a verse to return to even as they approach 10 minutes in is an asset that lets Oakley and company maintain the outward accessibility of “Further” or “Look Where We Are Now” without giving up either the nuance behind “We Want You to Dance” or the internal (in the band, instrumentally) or external (with the listener, in the music and lyrics) conversations happening simultaneously. Some Norman Whitfield-ish string sounds that might actually be theremin coexist with a solo of Thin Lizzy-style poise complemented by rhythmic swing, guitars lining up in harmony as keys, bass, drums, all direct themselves into the ether as they bring it to an end as they invariably would live.

As with all of Kommune I, it might take a few listens before the level of accomplishment in “Hypnagogic Shift” fully reveals itself. With so many pivots and twists throughout, it can be easy to feel untethered, especially in the longer track, but that’s where the solidity of structure comes in to provide clarity amid the trance. “Demon Run” completes the perhaps inadvertent narrative spanning the album — which seems to live out its ‘dance’ as actualization and the experience of broader knowledge as side A shifts to side B — by representing both ends in its eight minutes. Not as insistently verse/chorus as “Look Where We Are Now” or “Further,” its wah-coated unfolding lets party harmonica and keys sneak out past the overwhelm of “Hypnagogic Shift,” organ taking a solo before the guitar signals a U-turn to the verse, instruments answering vocals, the bop of the hook, which is mostly just the title line repeated and held out just before six minutes in as they hot-shit their way into the chorus-topped last push. Everything drops out for a from-the-belly,” deeeeemon ruuuun,” ahead and as part of the ensuing cymbal wash/build-up finish, residual feedback eventually snapping on a snare hit to a more mindful, twisting end.

And not to end with another list, but there are a couple levels on which Kommune I comes across as especially declarative. Foremost, it takes all its influences from across a spectrum of styles — maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t, but Oakley sure sounds like he’s got all the records — and creates something from them that can most of all be called itself. It communicates live-band ambitions that are undeniable, and indeed Oakley has a lineup and last month digitally released a set, Live at Drunkards Dream, as further demonstration of that intent. Third — and this is true even unto its title, which hints at a series beginning — it feels sustainable, for the process of Oakley leading the recording and release, and for how its songs are expansive with room to continue the growth already resonant here from Badlands onto subsequent outings. It may not be, of course, but Kommune I could very well set the pattern even more than its predecessor for Oakley‘s solo craftsmanship and the band operating under his name — live they’re billed as the Zack Oakley Band, which is straightforward enough — and if that turns out to be the case even for the medium term, it will be well worth keeping an eye for where it goes as well as answering the call put forth in these songs. Remember: they want you to dance. Be ready to.

Zack Oakley, Kommune I (2024)

Kommune I vinyl preorders at Kickstarter

Zack Oakley on Facebook

Zack Oakley on Instagram

Zack Oakley on Bandcamp

Zack Oakley website

Kommune Records on Bandcamp

Kommune Records website

Tags: , , , , , ,

Quarterly Review: Monkey3, The Quill, Nebula Drag, LLNN & Sugar Horse, Fuzzter, Cold in Berlin, The Mountain King, Witchorious, Skull Servant, Lord Velvet

Posted in Reviews on February 29th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

The-Obelisk-Quarterly-Review

Day four of five puts the end of this Quarterly Review in sight, as will inevitably happen. We passed the halfway point yesterday and by the time today’s done it’s the home stretch. I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a lot — and in terms of the general work level of the day, today’s my busiest day; I’ve got Hungarian class later and homework to do for that, and two announcements to write in addition to this, one for today one for tomorrow, and I need to set up the back end of another announcement for Friday if I can. The good news is that my daughter seems to be over the explosive-vomit-time stomach bug that had her out of school on Monday. The better news is I’ve yet to get that.

But if I’m scatterbrained generally and sort of flailing, well, as I was recently told after I did a video interview and followed up with the artist to apologize for my terribleness at it, at least it’s honest. I am who I am, and I think that there are places where people go and things people do that sometimes I have a hard time with. Like leaving the house. And parenting. And interviewing bands, I guess. Needing to plow through 10 reviews today and tomorrow should be a good exercise in focusing energy, even if that isn’t necessarily getting the homework done faster. And yeah, it’s weird to be in your 40s and think about homework. Everything’s weird in your 40s.

Quarterly Review #31-40:

Monkey3, Welcome to the Machine

monkey3 welcome to the machine

What are Monkey3 circa 2024 if not a name you can trust? The Swiss instrumental four-piece are now more than 20 years removed from their 2003 self-titled debut, and Welcome to the Machine — their seventh album and fourth release on Napalm Records (three studio, one live) — brings five new songs across 46 minutes of stately progressive heavy craft, with the lead cut “Ignition” working into an early gallop before cutting to ambience presumably as a manifestation of hitting escape velocity and leaving the planetary atmosphere, and trading from there between longer (10-plus-minute) and shorter (six- and seven-minute) pieces that are able to hit with a surprising impact when they so choose. Second track “Collision” comes to crush in a way that even 2019’s Sphere (review here) didn’t, and to go with its methodical groove, heavy post-rock airiness and layered-in acoustic guitar, “Kali Yuga” (10:01) is tethered by a thud of drums that feels no less the point of the thing than the mood-aura in the largesse that surrounds. Putting “Rackman” (7:13, with hints of voice or keyboard that sounds like it), which ends furiously, and notably cinematic closer “Collapse” (12:51) together on side B is a distinct immersion, and the latter places Monkey3 in a prog-metal context that defies stylistic expectation even as it lives up to the promise of the band’s oeuvre. Seven records and more than two decades on, and Monkey3 are still evolving. This is a special band, and in a Europe currently awash in heavy instrumentalism of varying degrees of psychedelia, it’s hard to think of Monkey3 as anything other than aesthetic pioneers.

Monkey3 on Facebook

Napalm Records website

The Quill, Wheel of Illusion

the quill wheel of illusion

With its Sabbath-born chug and bluesy initial groove opening to NWOBHM grandeur at the solo, the opening title-track is quick to reassure that Sweden’s The Quill are themselves on Wheel of Illusion, even if the corresponding classic metal elements there a standout from the more traditional rock of “Elephant Head” with its tambourine, or the doomier roll in “Sweet Mass Confusion,” also pointedly Sabbathian and thus well within the wheelhouse of guitarist Christian Carlsson, vocalist Magnus Ekwall, bassist Roger Nilsson and drummer Jolle Atlagic. While most of Wheel of Illusion is charged in its delivery, the still-upbeat “Rainmaker” feels like a shift in atmosphere after the leadoff and “We Burn,” and atmospherics come more into focus as the drums thud and the strings echo out in layers as “Hawks and Hounds” builds to its ending. While “The Last Thing” works keyboard into its all-go transition into nodding capper “Wild Mustang,” it’s the way the closer seems to encapsulate the album as a whole and the perspective brought to heavy rock’s founding tenets that make The Quill such reliable purveyors, and Wheel of Illusion comes across like special attention was given to the arrangements and the tightness of the songwriting. If you can’t appreciate kickass rock and roll, keep moving. Otherwise, whether it’s your first time hearing The Quill or you go back through all 10 of their albums, they make it a pleasure to get on board.

The Quill on Facebook

Metalville Records website

Nebula Drag, Western Death

Nebula Drag Western Death

Equal parts brash and disillusioned, Nebula Drag‘s Dec. 2023 LP, Western Death, is a ripper whether you’re dug into side ‘Western’ or side ‘Death.’ The first half of the psych-leaning-but-more-about-chemistry-than-effects San Diego trio’s third album offers the kind of declarative statement one might hope, with particular scorch in the guitar of Corey Quintana, sway and ride in Stephen Varns‘ drums and Garrett Gallagher‘s Sabbathian penchant for working around the riffs. The choruses of “Sleazy Tapestry,” “Kneecap,” “Side by Side,” “Tell No One” and the closing title-track speak directly to the listener, with the last of them resolved, “Look inside/See the signs/Take what you can,” and “Side by Side” a call to group action, “We don’t care how it gets done/Helpless is the one,” but there’s storytelling here too as “Tell No One” turns the sold-your-soul-to-play-music trope and turns it on its head by (in the narrative, anyhow) keeping the secret. Pairing these ideas with Nebula Drag‘s raw-but-not-sloppy heavy grunge, able to grunge-crunch on “Tell No One” even as the vocals take on more melodic breadth, and willing to let it burn as “Western Death” departs its deceptively angular riffing to cap the 34-minute LP with the noisy finish it has by then well earned.

Nebula Drag on Facebook

Desert Records store

LLNN & Sugar Horse, The Horror bw Sleep Paralysis Demon

LLNN Sugar Horse The Horror Sleep Paralysis Demon

Brought together for a round of tour dates that took place earlier this month, Pelagic Records labelmates LLNN (from Copenhagen) and Sugar Horse (from Bristol, UK) each get one track on a 7″ side for a showcase. Both use it toward obliterating ends. LLNN, who are one of the heaviest bands I’ve ever seen live and I’m incredibly grateful for having seen them live, dig into neo-industrial churn on “The Horror,” with stabbing synth later in the procession that underscores the point and less reliance on tonal onslaught than the foreboding violence of the atmosphere they create. In response, Sugar Horse manage to hold back their screams and lurching full-bore bludgeonry for nearly the first minute of “Sleep Paralysis Demon” and even after digging into it dare a return to cleaner singing, admirable in their restraint and more effectively tense for it when they push into caustic sludge churn and extremity, space in the guitar keeping it firmly in the post-metal sphere even as they aim their intent at rawer flesh. All told, the platter is nine of probably and hopefully-for-your-sake the most brutal minutes you might experience today, and thus can only be said to accomplish what it set out to do as the end product sounds like two studios would’ve needed rebuilding afterward.

LLNN on Facebook

Sugar Horse on Facebook

Pelagic Records website

Fuzzter, Pandemonium

fuzzter pandemonium

Fuzzter aren’t necessarily noisy in terms of playing noise rock on Pandemonium, but from the first cymbal crashes after the Oppenheimer sample at the start of “Extinción,” the Peruvian outfit engage an uptempo heavy psych thrust that, though directed, retains a chaotic aspect through the band’s willingness to be sound if not actually be reckless, to gang shout before the guitars drift off in “Thanatos,” to be unafraid of being eaten by their own swirl in “Caja de Pandora” or to chug with a thrashy intensity at the start of closer “Tercer Ojo,” doom out massive in the song’s middle, and float through jazzy minimalism at the finish. But even in that, there are flashes, bursts that emphasize the unpredictability of the songs, which is an asset throughout what’s listed as the Lima trio’s third EP but clocks in at 36 minutes with the instrumental “Purgatorio,” which starts off like it might be an interlude but grows more furious as its five minutes play out, tucked into its center. If it’s a short release, it is substantial. If it’s an album, it’s substantial despite a not unreasonable runtime. Ultimately, whatever they call it is secondary to the space-metal reach and the momentum fostered across its span, which just might carry you with it whether or not you thought you were ready to go.

Fuzzter on Facebook

Fuzzter on Instagram

Cold in Berlin, The Body is the Wound

cold in berlin the body is the wound

The listed representation of dreams in “Dream One” adds to the concrete severity of Cold in Berlin‘s dark, keyboard-laced post-metallic sound, but London-based four-piece temper that impact with the post-punk ambience around the shove of the later “Found Out” on their The Body is the Wound 19-minute four-songer, and build on the goth-ish sway even as “Spotlight” fosters a heavier, more doomed mindset behind vocalist Maya, whose verses in “When Did You See Her Last” are complemented by dramatic lines of keyboard and who can’t help but soar even as the overarching direction is down, down, down into either the subconscious referenced in “Dream One” or some other abyss probably of the listener’s own making. Five years and one actual-plague after their fourth full-length, 2019’s Rituals of Surrender, bordering on 15 since the band got their start, they cast resonance in mood as well as impact (the latter bolstered by Wayne Adams‘ production), and are dynamic in style as well as volume, with each piece on The Body is the Wound working toward its own ends while the EP’s entirety flows with the strength of its performances. They’re in multiple worlds, and it works.

Cold in Berlin on Facebook

Cold in Berlin website

The Mountain King, Apostasyn

the mountain king apostasyn

With the expansive songwriting of multi-instrumentalist/sometimes-vocalist Eric McQueen at its core, The Mountain King issue Apostasyn as possibly their 10th full-length in 10 years and harness a majestic, progressive doom metal that doesn’t skimp either on the doom or the metal, whether that takes the form of the Type O Negative-style keys in “The White Noise From God’s Radio” or the tremolo guitar in the apex of closer “Axolotl Messiah.” The title-track is a standout for more than just being 15 minutes long, with its death-doom crux and shifts between minimal and maximal volumes, and the opening “Dødo” just before fosters immersion after its maybe-banging-on-stuff-maybe-it’s-programmed intro, with a hard chug answered in melody by guest singer Julia Gusso, who joins McQueen and the returning Frank Grimbarth (also guitar) on vocals, while Robert Bished adds synth to McQueen‘s own. Through the personnel changes and in each piece’s individual procession, The Mountain King are patient, waiting in the dark for you to join them. They’ll probably just keep basking in all that misery until you get there, no worries. Oh, and I’ll note that the download version of Apostasyn comes with instrumental versions of the four tracks, in case you’d really like to lose yourself in ruminating.

The Mountain King on Facebook

The Mountain King on Bandcamp

Witchorious, Witchorious

WITCHORIOUS SELF TITLED

The self-titled debut from Parisian doomers Witchorious is distinguished by its moments of sludgier aggression — the burly barks in “Monster” at the outset, and so on — but the chorus of “Catharsis” that rises from the march of the verse offers a more melodic vision, and the three-piece of guitarist/vocalist Antoine Auclair, bassist/vocalist Lucie Gaget and drummer Paul Gaget, continue to play to multiple sides of a modern metal and doom blend, while “The Witch” adds vastness and roll to its creeper-riff foundation. The guitar-piece “Amnesia” serves as an interlude ahead of “Watch Me Die” as Witchorious dig into the second half of the album, and as hard has that song comes to hit — plenty — the character of the band is correspondingly deepened by the breadth of “To the Grave,” which follows before the bonus track “Why” nod-dirges the album’s last hook. There’s clarity in the craft throughout, and Witchorious seem aware of themselves in stylistic terms if not necessarily writing to style, and noteworthy as it is for being their first record, I look forward to hearing how they refine and sharpen the methods laid out in these songs. The already-apparent command with which they direct the course here isn’t to be ignored.

Witchorious on Facebook

Argonauta Records website

Skull Servant, Traditional Black Magicks II

skull servant traditional black magicks ii

Though their penchant for cult positioning and exploitation-horror imagery might lead expectations elsewhere, North Carolinian trio Skull Servant present a raw, sludge-rocking take on their second LP, Traditional Black Magicks II, with bassist Noah Terrell and guitarist Calvin Bauer reportedly swapping vocal duties per song across the five tracks while drummer Ryland Dreibelbis gives fluidity to the current of distortion threaded into “Absinthe Dreams,” which is instrumental on the album but newly released as a standalone single with vocals. I don’t know if the wrong version got uploaded or what — Bauer ends up credited with vocals that aren’t there — but fair enough. A meaner, punkier stonerism shows itself as “Poison the Unwell” hints at facets of post-hardcore and “Pergamos,” the two shortest pieces placed in front of the strutting “Lucifer’s Reefer” and between that cut and the Goatsnake-via-Sabbath riffing of “Satan’s Broomstick.” So it could be that Skull Servant, who released the six-song outing on Halloween 2023, are still sorting through where they want to be sound-wise, or it could be they don’t give a fuck about genre convention and are gonna do whatever they please going forward. I won’t predict and I’m not sure either answer is wrong.

Skull Servant on Facebook

Skull Servant on Bandcamp

Lord Velvet, Astral Lady

lord velvet astral lady

Notice of arrival is served as Lord Velvet dig into classic vibes and modern heft on their late 2023 debut EP, Astral Lady, to such a degree that I actually just checked their social media to see if they’d been signed yet before I started writing about them. Could happen, and probably will if they want it to, considering the weight of low end and the flowing, it’s-a-vibe-man vibe, plus shred, in “Lament of Io” and the way they make that lumber boogie through (most of) “Snakebite Fever.” Appearing in succession, “Night Terrors” and “From the Deep” channel stoned Iommic revelry amid their dynamic-in-tempo doomed intent, and while “Black Beam of Gemini” rounds out with a shove, Lord Velvet retain the tonal presence on the other end of that quick, quiet break, ready to go when needed for the crescendo. They’re not reinventing stoner rock and probably shouldn’t be trying to on this first EP, but they feel like they’re engaging with some of the newer styles being proffered by Magnetic Eye or sometimes Ripple Music, and if they end up there or elsewhere before they get around to making a full-length, don’t be surprised. If they plan to tour, so much the better for everybody.

Lord Velvet on Facebook

Lord Velvet website

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Zack Oakley to Release Kommune I LP March 2

Posted in Whathaveyou on February 6th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Man, this shit smokes. Did you hear Zack Oakley‘s Fall 2021 solo debut, Badlands (review here)? If not, I’ll kindly, in a spirit of friendship, recommend you do so ahead of the arrival of Kommune I, Oakley‘s somewhat counterintuitively titled (at first) second full-length. Set to release March 2 through Oakley’s own Kommune Records, with “Look Where We Are Now” and closer “Demon Run” featuring that were each previously released as singles — the latter accompanied by a Nina Simone cover — Kommune I brings five tracks loaded with reminders that the reason you can’t find all the nerdiest and thus best prog, heavy rock, funk, psych, jazz and/or Afrobeat — yes, so Demon Fuzz — records used out there in stores is because Oakley has so obviously bought them all and absorbed their contents through some kind of magical osmosis that uses technology I don’t understand and so I’ll just have to call either “magic” or “talent.” Whichever you choose, Kommune I is loaded with both.

Oakley (ex-Joy, Pharlee, Volcano; he sat in with Earthless last month for a set; that feels like it should be a line on the CV) also has a band together, and his own studio/rehearsal space — Kommune Studios — where the live-sounding album was captured. This seems to me like he’s setting himself up for a longer-term dig-in here as regards solo fare rather than passing the time between other ‘band’ outings, and in fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if live shows from the Zack Oakley Band became more of a thing over time, as the energy in Kommune I from “We Want You to Dance” (a direct address to an audience at the start) feels entirely geared for the stage even as the songs themselves take on different facets of Oakley‘s songwriting.

The PR wire brought info, but what you really want is the songs. Those are at the bottom. Release show is March 2 at Casbah in San Diego. Behold:

Zack Oakley Kommune 1

“Kommune 1” is the 2nd full length album from San Diego multi-instrumentalist, engineer and producer Zack Oakley.

The record explores gang vocal harmonization, bass and drum polyrhythms found in afro-beat and latin jazz, walls of sound produced by dueling twin guitar lines harmonizing against Fender Rhoades and B3 counterpoint, earth tones of harmonica and a wide range of world-music hand percussion set to a backdrop of kinetic psychedelic energies supplied by droning, echoing and modulating theremin and synthesizers. This record showcases a live band versed in improvisation while making playful use of stressed harmony and the ability to execute tight arrangements with razor sharp clarity. Lyrically, Kommune 1 modulates between the political (We Want You To Dance), existential (Hypnagogic Shift, Demon Run), science fiction (Further) and the dance party relief of the mid-album lysergic funk of “Look Where We Are Now.”

Kommune 1 finds its glue in the recording workflow; all five tracks being recorded in DIY fashion in the band’s rehearsal room in San Diego. The room, dubbed “Kommune Studios,” is a cozy, windowless affair stacked with vintage drum sets, amplifiers and synthesizers at the heart of which lies a late 70’s 24-track Trident recording console. The room itself represents creative freedom, as well as freedom from any outsider expectation and the insular comfort to follow any creative impulse to its fruition or naught. The tunes were recorded and mixed in the last few months of 2023 and are indicative of a band humming with inspiration and captured on specifically curated analog gear in the comfortable surroundings of their rehearsal headquarters.

The album is aptly named Kommune 1 as the first album recorded in the band’s homegrown studio.

zack oakley kommune i release showTrack List:
1.) We Want You To Dance
2.) Further
3.) Look Where We Are Now
4.) Hypnagogic Shift
5.) Demon Run

Personnel:
Zack Oakley – vocals, guitar, percussion, tracking engineer, mix engineer, producer
Cory Martinez – vocals, guitar, synth, tracking engineer
Peter Cai – vocals, bass
Travis Baucum – vocals, harmonica, theremin
Garret Lekas – vocals, keys, synth
Justin De La Vega – vocals, drums
Jody Bagly – B3, rhoades
Tim Lowman – flute

Release show for Kommune 1 is at @casbahsandiego on Saturday March 2nd. Excited to play the new record start to finish for the first time. Got an insane crew together for this one! @wildwildwets @freshveggiesmicrobrass and @operation_mindblow meet us there!

https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100072279469172
https://www.instagram.com/zack.oakley/
https://zackoakley.bandcamp.com/
https://zackoakley.com/

https://kommunerecords.bandcamp.com/
http://www.kommunerecords.com

Zack Oakley, “Look Where We Are Now” (2023)

Zack Oakley, Demon Run / Funkier than a Mosquitos Tweeter (2023)

Tags: , , , , ,

Sacri Monti Finish Recording New Album

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 22nd, 2024 by JJ Koczan

San Diego heavy psychedelic rockers Sacri Monti have finished recording their yet-untitled third full-length for release later this year. Pictured below with producer Eric Bauer at Discount Mirrors, the band issued Live at Sonic Whip MMXXII (review here) last year through Burning World/Sonic Whip, and though one assumes Tee Pee Records will handle the studio release to come since they did 2019’s Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (review here) and Sacri Monti‘s 2015 self-titled debut (review here), but it occurs to me I have no confirmation of that.

But it seems to have been a joyous process, if the posts I saw from bassist Anthony Meier were anything to go by. Osees‘ John Dwyer stopped in for a bit, which was surely rad, and it looked like the focus was on playing live, getting that energy onto tape as best as possible. I hope to and look forward to engaging with the results and hearing what the last five years have brought to Sacri Monti‘s sound. I haven’t heard any of it beyond the new songs that were on the live record, but I’ve got a good feeling about this one with just about nothing to base that on except the band’s own history and the fact that they looked like they had a good time putting it together. But I think that might be enough to go on, at least for now.

When I see or hear anything else, I’ll post it. Expect release news and tour dates both, as Sacri Monti will return to Europe this summer and are already confirmed to appear at SonicBlast Fest and Hoflärm 2024, happening on the same weekend in Portugal and Germany, respectively. While a just-that trip would likely be intense enough to count as a whole tour, more dates to come feels like a safe expectation.

So, for now, here’s what I saw to mark the end of the recording/mixing process:

sacri-monti-with-eric-bauer-discount-mirrors-studio-2024

Just wrapped up recording and mixing our third studio album in the past 7 days. The process was a lot of fun and everything came together sonically with this one. It was a pleasure and an honor to work with Eric Bauer at Discount Mirrors Studio in Los Angeles. Stay tuned for release date and upcoming plans. Onward!

Sacri Monti is:
Brenden Dellar -Guitar
Dylan Donovan- Guitar
Anthony Meier- Bass
Evan Wenskay- Organ, Synth
Thomas Dibenedetto- Drums

https://www.facebook.com/sacrimontiband/
https://www.instagram.com/sacri_monti_band/
https://sacrimonti.bigcartel.com/
https://soundcloud.com/sacri-monti

teepeerecords.com
https://www.facebook.com/teepeerecords/
https://www.instagram.com/teepeerecords/
https://teepeerecords.bandcamp.com/

Sacri Monti, Waiting Room for the Magic Hour (2019)

Tags: , , ,

Author & Punisher Announce 20th Anniversary Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on January 11th, 2024 by JJ Koczan

Tickets go out tomorrow for the first round of 20th anniversary touring to be undertaken by Author and Punisher, which will bring the San Diego-based industrial doom outfit — Tristan Shone on midi machines/vocals, Doug Sabolick on guitar — to the East Coast starting at the end of next month in the company of Morne and Glassing.

I haven’t caught Author & Punisher live since the release of Krüller (review here) in 2022, and this is something I’d very much like to correct before Shone does another record, which would presumably happen not before the end of this year, but even that means March 3 at Saint Vitus Bar might be my last shot at doing so. I suck at everything, life most of all, but golly I’d like to see that show. Fingers crossed I can, you know, bring myself to leave the house.

Congratulations to Shone though on 20 years of Author and Punisher. I’ve been writing about music for about that long (including pre-Obelisk), and it’s not a minor amount of time to dedicate yourself to something that the vast majority of the world will never be able to understand.

From the PR wire:

AUTHOR AND PUNISHER FEB 2024 TOUR

AUTHOR & PUNISHER ANNOUNCES WINTER 2024 NORTH AMERICA HEADLINE TOUR

CELEBRATING 20 YEARS OF AUTHOR & PUNISHER

SUPPORT BY MORNE & GLASSING

AUTHOR & PUNISHER celebrates 20 years of industrial mastery in 2024! A&P kicks off the landmark anniversary year with a North America headline tour throughout late February & March performing songs throughout his entire catalog. Special support provided by Morne & Glassing.

Tickets are on sale Friday, January 12 at 10am EST.

TRISTAN SHONE Comments on 20 Years of AUTHOR & PUNISHER:

“Author & Punisher started as myself playing guitar with a drum machine in 2004 as a move towards being more efficient as one person; I’d had enough of band complexities slowing things down. Throughout the years I opened the flood gates and through my experience at art school I began experimenting with what industrial doom and drone metal really could be. Fast forward 20 years, I feel as though A&P has become part of my psyche… when I walk down the street with headphones listening to tracks I’m developing, my right hand is cycling through beats and I’m visualizing how I can meld the mechanical and the atonal; it has become second nature. In thinking back, I’ve had some great on stage experiences, but equally valuable were the experiences… the weird ones where someone goes out of their way to take you somewhere to eat or see something that is off the charts. I have no doubt that A&P will continue as a creative vessel for many years to come.

To celebrate 20 years, we’re starting things off with a Winter 2024 Northeast USA/CAN tour with Morne and Glassing hitting some spots we missed in the last couple years and pounding some spots that we thought needed a little more. This is our first tour since June 2023, so we hope to see you all out there.”

AUTHOR & PUNISHER NORTH AMERICA 2024 Tour Dates
w/ Morne and Glassing

Feb 23 Cambridge, MA Sonia
Feb 24 Quebec City, QC Cabaret Foufones
Feb 25 Toronto, ON Garrison
Feb 27 Detroit, MI Sanctuary
Feb 28 Chicago, IL Reggies
Feb 29 Indianapolis, IN Black Circle
Mar 01 Columbus, OH Ace of Cups
Mar 02 Bensalem, PA Broken Goblet
Mar 03 Brooklyn, NY Saint Vitus

Stay tuned for AUTHOR & PUNISHER announcements through 2024!

http://facebook.com/authorandpunisher
http://instagram.com/authorandpunisher
https://authorandpunisher.bandcamp.com/
http://www.authorandpunisher.com/

http://www.relapse.com
http://www.instagram.com/relapserecords
http://www.facebook.com/RelapseRecords
http://www.twitter.com/RelapseRecords

Author & Punisher, Krüller (2022)

Tags: , , , , ,

El Perro Announce Early 2024 European Touring

Posted in Whathaveyou on December 12th, 2023 by JJ Koczan

el perro

Back out they go. In October, funkified classic heavy rockers El Perro — founded and led by guitarist/vocalist Parker Griggs of Radio Moscow, with a lineup that now features Dorian Sorriaux (Blues Pills) also on guitar and Mucho Drums (Great Electric Quest) on, you guessed it, drums, percussionist Jeremy Davy and bassist Joaquin Escudero, formerly of Prisma Circus — completed a tour of the Midwest that I’m pretty sure was the last region of the States they had to check off their list after East and West Coast tours supporting their 2022 debut album, Hair Of… (review here), and I guess with that done, they’re free to head back to Europe after stints there the last two summers.

I’m a little curious to see when El Perro, whose lineup around Griggs has completely changed since the record, will get back to the studio. They’ve toured hard to support the record and spread the name, all that stuff, but especially with the players they have on board now, it might be worth their time and characteristic of their ’70s-rooted ethic on the whole, to get the lightning of their current stage show in the bottle of a studio recording, but that’s probably just me being greedy. Seems silly to say for an act who have one LP, but I’d take a live album from this band anytime they wanted to throw one out there, thanks. The Freak Valley set (review here) was certainly worth preserving, and it was recorded by Rockpalast, so it’s not like it’s some half-assed recording job, though I’ll admit I’d be up for hearing some unmixed, off-the-board, classic-bootleg-style stuff from El Perro as well. That wouldn’t work for every band, and I don’t think they’d actually do it, but it would be fun from them.

More, I guess, is what I’m looking for from El Perro. And here they are, with more. The announcement of the tour (which still has a couple TBAs; fests?) came through socials:

el perro tour

Europe! Super psyched to announce we will be returning early 2024! Marking tons of new territory this run, can’t wait to see y’all out there soon! Thanks to @soundofliberation for making it happen and @_anna_dina_ for the tour poster 🙌🏾

Dates!!!

2/16 Fulda, DE @kreuz
2/17 Jena, DE @kuba_jena
2/18 Utrecht, NL @dbs_utrecht
2/19 TBA
2/20 TBA
2/21 Bielefeld, DE @forum_bielefeld
2/22 Sittard, NL @poppodium_volt
2/23 Munster, DE Rare Guitar
2/24 Hannover, DE Faust
2/25 Berlin, DE @urban_spree
2/26 TBA
2/27 Koln, DE @clubvolta_cologne
2/28 Stuttgart, DE @goldmarks_stuttgart
2/29 Innsbruck, AT @pmk_ibk
3/1 Munchen, DE @feierwerk_
3/2 Bolzano, IT Pippo Stage
3/3 Bologna, IT @freakout_club
3/4 Zero Branco, IT @altroquandotreviso
3/5 Ilirska Bistrica, SI @mknz_ilirskabistrica
3/6 Belgrade, RS @anti_shop_elektropionir
3/7 Zagreb, HR @hardplace
3/8 TBA
3/9 Montreux, CH @nedmusicclub
3/10 Colmar, FR @legrillen

https://www.facebook.com/elperrotheband
https://instagram.com/elperrotheband

https://www.facebook.com/AliveNaturalsoundRecords/
https://www.alive-records.com/

El Perro, Live at Freak Valley Festival 2023

Tags: , , , , , , ,